Connecting with the Moment: Working with Client and Practitioner Grief


To be Existentially Lonely is:

  • to know and embrace our humanity
  • to experience the deepest level of insecurity and despair
  • but it is also the impetus to move beyond these to the creation of meaning

-Frankl (1978)

Facing existential anxiety brought about by the COVID- 19 reality, both by the severity of the virus itself and the experience of self-isolation, requires a spiritual response. Grief is a very present emotion as we mourn the life we knew, and for some, our jobs, financial stability, ambitions and plans. COVID-19 has brought our vulnerability, mortality and lack of control to the fore.

These existential issues need to be acknowledged and processed if we, as professionals, want to keep functioning in a psychologically healthy way. The workshop is based on a relational model of working which combines the psychological with the spiritual. As we interact with our patients, and when we live the relationship with awareness; the patients’ psychological and spiritual journey can push us further into our own psychological and spiritual growth. Therefore, our patients’ suffering (and consequently our own) can be harnessed as we acknowledge the suffering, experience the pain, struggle with finding a meaning for it and emerge stronger, wiser and with a feeling of liberation.

LECTURER: Benna Chase
CPD: 5 hours
COST: 40 Euro

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Benna Chase is a Clinical Psychologist and Psychotherapist specialising in oncology, dying and bereavement. She set up the Psycho-Oncology Services at Sir Paul Boffa Hospital in 1995, working with patients and their families, and doing staff support and training. She now leads the psycho-oncology team at SAMOC. Throughout the years she has given talks and workshops to professionals, and to members of the clergy. She has also conducted workshops in Italy and Romania. She is a visiting lecturer at the UoM and has a part-time private practice.

Chase, B., 2012. A Model Combining Psychotherapy with Spirituality and Religion in the Area of Palliative Care and Bereavement. European Journal for Qualitative Research in Psychotherapy, (6), pp.29-38.